Strictly Come Dancing Professional Karen Hauer talks about her and Gorka Marquez’s show ‘FIREDANCE’ to embark on a national tour
Kicking of their tour of FIREDANCE initially in February of 2020, Strictly Come Dancing professionals Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez, like many creatives at the time, found themselves having to ground their show to a halt in response to the ongoing pandemic. Last year however, a couple of years on from the crisis, as we all emerged from the disruption, both were able to reignite the show’s unrelenting flames and bring it back to our stages. Showing no signs of slowing down, having both recently competed on the 2022 edition of Strictly Come Dancing, the dynamic duo have shown that they’re back with a vengeance, more so than ever. Due to tour from 23rd February, starting off at New Theatre in Peterborough before concluding its run on Saturday 1st April 2023 City Hall in Sheffield, Karen tells us more about the show’s inspirations, working with Gorka and what audiences can expect!
Hi Karen, your show FIREDANCE will embark on a national tour from 23rd February until 1st April. How are feeling ahead of the tour?
We are so excited! This is a show that is so close to mine and Gorka’s hearts. We have incredible dancers in our company as well as jaw-dropping fire acts. We’ve put a huge amount of passion into this show and we were thrilled with the audience reaction last year. We can’t wait to get back on stage at the end of February.
Firedance will see you and Gorka accompanied by dancers and fire specialists in a captivating dance off inspired by timeless movie blockbusters Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Carmen and West Side Story. Soundtracked by a live band who’ll play a selection of pop classics, the show will take the audience on a journey through the best of Latin and contemporary dance. What inspired you both to explore these stories further?
Yes, that’s right- it takes the form of a dance-off inspired by movie blockbusters that we love, including West Side Story, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, West Side Story and Carmen. We have a sensational live band and fierce costumes that reflect the type of Latin and contemporary rock and pop music we dance to. Music is a huge part of my life, it’s one of the elements of dance that make it so special. The movies you mention are all huge sources of inspiration to me and ones that I can watch over and over and, to be able to take some of the iconic music from these very special movies and interpret the feeling onto the dancefloor is a privilege.
How have you both worked together to realise the show?
Gorka and I have always got on very well since we he joined Strictly and a few years ago we started to dance together a bit more as partners and we realised it worked very well and we loved to partner each other. That work extends into our tour and we have a huge part to play in everything; from casting the other performers to costume and music. Each year we’ve done this we’ve worked to make it better than before.
Initially scheduled to take place in 2020, the show was able to return to our stages in 2022 post pandemic. What was the impact of the pandemic on your craft? How did it feel to be able to restage the show a couple of years later?
We originally started touring the show in February 2020, but had to stop after just six performances due to the pandemic. We finally got it back on the road last February and it was so incredible we knew we would take it back out on the road again this year. I know that we all feel privileged to be able to go out and do our passion every day for a career, but the pandemic stopped all that. We were all home for months, not knowing when we’d get back on a stage again. So everything that got back on track after that – from getting Strictly back into production to then eventually getting FIREDANCE on the road in February 2021 – had extra meaning and was extra emotional. It’s made everything have even more of a team spirit element to it – touring FIREDANCE will always be a privilege.
What have you learned/taken away from creating the show?
Gorka and I are very similar in the way we work. We work incredibly hard and we ensure that we are putting on a phenomenal show, but we also don’t take ourselves too seriously and we love to laugh. So I think what has been amazing about this tour is putting blood, sweat and tears in to feel incredible joy at the end product, but ensuring that we’ve had a lot of fun doing it.
What can audiences expect from the show?
The show takes our audience on a journey through the best of Latin and contemporary dance. There’s passion, there’s intensity, there’s incredible live music with songs that mean a lot to a lot of people. There’s our incredibly talented and unique cast of eight dancers who perform with us. It’s absolutely packed with the best Latin dancing from start to finish. And, of course, there’s fire. A lot of fire!
What would you like for audiences to take away from the show?
We want them to have fun! We want them to enjoy every second of watching the show – from the dancing to the live music – and feel a part of it.
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
FIREDANCE will take place from Thursday 23rd February at the New Theatre in Peterborough before concluding its run on Saturday 1st April 2023 City Hall in Sheffield. To find out more about the show, visit here…
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